Over the years, more and more people are opting to telecommute or work from their own home. According to a study by Global Workforce Analytics, the number of telecommuting employees has increased by 103 percent between 2005 and 2016.
The reason for this is that more and more companies are embracing the movement towards flexible and mobile working environments. After all, studies also show that employees who are given a more flexible work situation, like telecommuting, are also healthier, happier, more productive, and more likely to stay longer with the company.
But even all these benefits are not enough if managing remote employees would prove to be too difficult or not worth the benefits they provide the company.
Fortunately, the rise of cloud communications gave rise to accessible technology that can address the different challenges of managing work-from-home and other mobile employees. From communication and collaboration, to remote IT support and project management, there is a cloud app that can help you manage your remote team better.
Here are some of the best cloud tools that are recommended by many companies:
IT problems within the office is already a major headache, imagine having to solve IT problems from a distance. Fortunately, this desktop sharing app makes it easier for your IT guys to help your remote employees without having to travel to that person’ house. Aside from letting your IT staff access the employee’s computer remotely, it also helps facilitate employee communications and lets you access employee files and apps from your own device. It also has a permanent remote access option so that IT staff won’t need to enter passwords every time. Of course, you would have to ask permission from the employee about giving access if it is their own personal device, or you could provision them with company-owned devices as well. Single user license is priced at $764.
This unified communications tool solves many of your communication and collaboration problems. It lets your employees use the safe phone system features as your in-office employees. It lets your employees make and receive calls using business phone number, and employees can contact each other via virtual extensions. All calls are answered by an auto-attendant, and routed to the right person regardless of distance. You and your team can also host and join audio and video conferences so there will be no need to meet physically. Last, all the features can be accessed through a computer or through a mobile app. RingCentral Office plans start at $24.99.
While HipChat and Slack are the more popular team messaging tool, Glip can do just about everything those apps can do. This team messaging app is also a major collaboration tool. It allows you and your team to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, converse per task or per team, and track progress as well. You can also share files, images, and links. It also has a fun side with emojis and its own meme maker. It is free to download but has a $5 Basic and $10 Pro plan. The $5 Basic plan comes free with any RingCentral Office plan as well.
This project management app is so intuitive and easy to use, which is a big plus since you won’t have a difficult time training your remote employees on how to use it. This app organizes your team projects and lets you easily assign contributors for each. You can create a task list, attach files, and track progress and milestones. Price starts at $20 per month for up to 10 projects.
Paper is the latest acquisition of Dropbox and is the ultimate online collaboration tool. It is essentially a shared workspace that lets your team to create, review, and organize projects while literally being on the same page. Team members can comment on every little detail like an image, a word in a sentence or even a line of code. The threaded comments remind you more of a social media comment thread than a collaboration app because of its fun nature that includes colorful stickers and emojis. It comes free with your Dropbox account. It’s now up to you to if you need to upgrade your account for more storage.